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Postgame Quotes: Oklahoma State 29, Kansas State 21

Postgame Quotes: Oklahoma State 29, Kansas State 21

Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Gundy:

Opening Statement:

“That was fun. That was a good college football game. A lot of excitement. Two great football teams. Great atmosphere. Again, very thankful and appreciative of the fans for the blackout game. It was a Friday night, and it looked like to me that there weren’t hardly any seats available at all. The crowd was loud, it was a great atmosphere and great football game. I’m glad that we were able to finish it. The defense played really well. We forced them into some tough situations, and we were able to capitalize. When they threw us the ball, we caught it on the defensive side. Obviously, we made plays. We were down a few players. We had some guys that we weren’t playing, and other guys had to step up and make plays. It’s a simple game, right? We rushed for over four yards-a-carry (and didn’t) turn the ball over. Two things in this game: We won the turnovers, which is important, and we won the end-yards against them. Very seldom do they lose the end-yards, which is return yards and penalties. Overall, we were plus-something in the end-yards, and we were good against them on fourth down. Normally, they’re really good on fourth downs, and we were good against fourth downs. Good game. (I’m) very proud of the players… They practiced their butt off for two weeks. Coaches had really, really good game plans, and there’s been times where I’ve told y’all that our game plans weren’t very good. Really, really good game plans that worked, and the players bought in. They played their butt off, played with a lot of excitement and energy. So now, we’ve just got to enjoy this one and get ready for next week to play a good football team moving forward.”

On the importance of rushing the ball effectively against a stout K-State run defense:

“You just almost have to. When I talked to you guys and told you ‘if you can’t stay somewhat balanced in rushing the ball, then you become one-dimensional.’ We’re not good enough to be one-dimensional. We don’t have that skillset right now. That’s not who we are. We have to stay balanced. Honestly, they’re the same way, in my opinion. I don’t coach them. From a distance, they are a much, much better offense when they’re balanced. Most of us are. The ability to rush the ball and keep balanced in our system allows us to have success. We had to kick five field goals. What we have to do is figure out a way to stop kicking field goals. We’ve got to punch in down there and come up with some concepts to give us a better chance. Kicking five field goals – you probably think you’re lucky to win — but it worked out. Our defense made two big stops at the end for us, but we’ve got to be able to punch that in and convert. (For) long-term success, kicking field goals like that is not good.”

On what they did to help Bowman get the ball down the field:

“We rushed the ball. It does help. If you were to go back and watch the game, once we rushed the ball decently in the first quarter, you’ll see their safeties come running down into the blocks. That gives you a chance, whether it’s zone or man. If the safeties are out of the picture, you’re playing essentially man-on-man, even if it’s a zone coverage… Last year we didn’t have that. They weren’t coming down because we weren’t rushing the ball, and once everyone starts to play back, it’s hard to throw passes.”

On the benefits of a bye week coming in:

“The extra week helped us get more comfortable with who we could be on both sides of the ball. I thought our defense played excellent, and we settled into some things that we think help fit our personality. The same thing on offense, the extra week helped us more on that than anything else, just getting more settled with who we are.”

On Nick Martin’s performance:

“Nick’s got a great future, for two reasons. One, he’s tough, he’s old-school tough. Second thing, he loves football. Those are two things that are hard to find in recruiting, the young men that love football and don’t care about the sideshows, social media, they don’t care about whatever else it is kids nowadays care about. He loves football and he’s tough. That’s why he’s a good football player.”


OSU Defensive Coordinator Bryan Nardo…

On Cameron Epps:

“I’m so proud of him for how dedicated he is. Everyone knows what happened to Lyrik. Everyone know that’s what caused us to start him against Iowa State.”

“He had seven interceptions in the two weeks of practice, I think he had three in one day. He has all the tools. He has all the drive. He has the exact right demeanor to play that position.”


OSU Offensive Coordinator Kasey Dunn…

On the offense’s performance:

“We’ve got good players, it’s just a matter of getting down the field and punching that thing in.”

On Rashod Owens:

“Rashod stepped up. He did a great job. I’m sure he wants that one catch back again.”


OSU Quarterback Alan Bowman…

On the offense:

“The more games that we play as a unit, the reps that we get in practice, the better we’re going to be on offense.”

On Rashod Owens:

“I think Rashod stepped up in a huge way tonight. That touchdown at Iowa State kind of gained confidence in myself and gained confidence in himself to go out and be able to play at a high level.”


Cornerback Cameron Epps…

On the two-week break coming in:

“These past two weeks were really big for us, we really got a chance to regroup and really watch film and practice hard all weekend. Our coach gave us a great game plan, we just went out there and executed.”

On his interceptions:

“I’m glad I got my opportunity and was able to help the team win.”

“That was my first time scoring, even a pick six, that was my first time ever doing that, that felt really good.”


Kicker Alex Hale:

On staying composed…

“We go through every situation in practice, pretty much kick from everywhere on the field, so nothing new where I’m at. It’s just going out there and trusting yourself and getting it done.”

On his five field goals, which tied a school record:

“Little more than normal., but nothing out of the ordinary. Kind of just lost count.”




K-State head coach Chris Klieman…

Opening statement:

“I want to congratulate Oklahoma State. I thought they played well. I knew they were going to play well. They beat us tonight. Beat us at the line of scrimmage quite a bit. A couple of things really stick out. We have turned the ball over, which we can’t do. We don’t create any turnovers on defense, so it’s not like we’re getting any short fields for the offense. We give up too many big plays on defense and we’re not getting enough explosive plays on offense. It starts with me and our coaching staff. We’ve got to be better for these kids. They want to win, they want to play hard, they’re doing some good things. We’re not a very good football team right now. I told them that. But it starts with me. I’ve got to be a better head coach. Assistants have to put the kids in a position to be a little bit more successful. We’ve got our backs against the wall. We’ve got to climb out of it. I’ve got a lot of faith in those guys in that locker room. There’s a lot of sixth-year and fifth-year guys that love K-State and put their hearts and souls into K-State. Now we’ve got to respond. Disappointed in our performance.”

On limiting turnovers:

“Will (Howard)’s got to play better, obviously. We got to get open when people play man coverage. We’ve got to be able to not get tugged and grabbed. We have to protect better. We have to call some better position plays for him. I have to do a better job of continuing to show him what I’m seeing from what they’re doing defensively. We can’t continue to turn the ball over. On the flip side, we have to create some turnovers on defense. We aren’t doing that at all.”

On Oklahoma State’s RPO offense:

“They’ve done that in the past. They haven’t done it yet this year a lot. But they’ve done it against us, and we struggled with them. You really struggle when you can’t stop the run. They were creasing us for seven or eight yards a pop. You can’t hold forever on those RPOs. So, it was a combination of us getting beat at the line of scrimmage and they were getting good yards. We didn’t make the plays down the field in the RPO game. You’re going to give up some RPOs, but you’ve got to tackle the guys. We just didn’t do that. We’ve got to be better, and we’ve got to be better as coaches.

On the failed two-point conversion:

“If we score there and get the two-point conversion, we’re going to go in, score, kick the PAT and win the game. I didn’t see the play, but they said we had a chance, and we probably could have made that play to make it 29-23. We’ve been in these situations a couple times on the flip side of it… We thought long and hard about it. It wasn’t just a random ‘hey, what do you think here?’ I’ve thought long and hard about that if we got that situation. I wish we would have converted because we look like geniuses then, and all of a sudden, we get a score and kick the PAT and walk out of there. But we didn’t and probably didn’t deserve to win that game.”

On finding a way to get the receivers open:

“I really don’t know all the coverages they were playing. Whether it’s simplifying some things for the starters because we have a lot of different alignments that we can simplify. We’ve got to be able to win and be able to put it on them when they are open.”

On being aggressive on fourth downs:

“When you’re down as much as we were down at half, you have to go for it on fourth down. There’s only so many possessions left, and you have to try to make something happen. The biggest thing is we threw the pick-six to end the first half. I didn’t want to take a knee, that wasn’t going to do us any good. We needed to try to do a couple things, whether it was run the ball or get a couple quick throws. Get some rhythm in our offense that hopefully would carry over to the second half. That wasn’t going to be the right thing, to take a knee after you throw a pick-six, I didn’t want to do that to the kid.”

On Will Howard’s turnovers:

“He’s got to play better, and he knows it. We’ve got to put him in a better position, as well. We all know this. Will is now an older kid, in the fact that he’s going to get a lot of blame and I’m going to get a lot of blame when we don’t have success. We probably get too much credit when we do have success, and we’ll own that. We also have to look at it from a coaching standpoint. It starts with me as it trickles down to coach (Collin) Klein and the offensive staff of getting these guys in better positions and maybe simplifying some things.”


Kansas State Safety Kobe Savage…

On the mood in the locker room following the loss:

“You never want to lose, especially on the road to a really good Oklahoma State team like that, but everybody just wants to, and needs to, give more. I have to be a better leader and bring these younger guys along.”

On the differences between this year’s K-State team and last year’s Big 12 championship team:

“I feel like it’s the heart we had last year. There are a lot of guys who love this game and love K-State. I feel like everyone wants to have that heart, but we just have to find a way to bring it out of us.”

On how to create more turnovers:

“It’s really just playing fast, playing as fast as we can to get to the ball. Maybe punching the ball out or playing our one-on-one is just a little better in our technique. Just little things like that are gonna get us a lot more turnovers.”


Kansas State Linebacker Austin Moore…

On fixing in-game issues:

“A lot of that just goes back to rules and principles. Guys who are supposed to be there for the trash have to stay back and be patient and trust other guys in the field that they’re gonna do their job. So I would just say everyone doing their job and not trying to do too much.”

On moving forward:

“Coach (Joe) Klanderman always says, it’s a player-led team. So we have to have guys step up and take ownership and take responsibility. Everyone on the team, not just people who made mistakes. Everyone made mistakes, so everyone’s got to take ownership. That’s what’s gonna change it.”


Kansas State Quarterback Will Howard…

On the postgame message:

“A lot of the message was ‘how are we going to respond from this?’ A lot of people are saying a lot of things about us. But the truth of the matter is we’re not playing well. We’re an average team, at best, right now. We’re 3-2, and we can’t play like this if we want to get to where we want to get. We’ve got championship goals, and that’s not going to happen if we keep making mistakes. If you asked me, I’d say, this one’s on me but, obviously, I can’t put it all on myself. But I take the brunt of the blame for what went on, on offense. That is what it is. It’s on me. I have to be better. My promise is that I’m going to work my tail off to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”

On running the ball more:

“Yeah. If that’s what the defense is giving us, then we’re going to take it. I’m more than willing to do that if that’s what’s asked of me. Obviously, we did a little bit of that tonight. Wasn’t enough, obviously, to get to where we want. But at the end of the day, we just have to be better. I have to be better.”

On difficulties after last year’s success:

“Not a good feeling. I feel like we came in here and listened to the outside noise a little bit too much. And they hadn’t put really good stuff on film. We thought we were a better team than them. I still think that we’re, when we’re at our best, we’re a better team than them. But we didn’t play our best, and they played well tonight. They played better than us.

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